The Story of the Purple Halo

“The moment we put on the collar, we have entered into a covenant that
promises a dog that we will provide for his needs. ALL of them.”

-Suzanne Clothier
Bones Would Rain from the Sky

You’ve seen them everywhere – dog parks, coffee shops, local dog events – those brightly colored purple collars that make you say to yourself, “that must be an AZGRC dog.”

“Purple” is a trademark color for AZGRC and those purple paw print collars have become a distinguishing mark to those that foster for and adopt from our organization. 

Purple is said to be the color of royalty.  And, for anyone who has shared a life with a rescued dog, you know they are pure “golden” royalty enriching our lives beyond measure.

Every dog that comes to AZGRC gets a new collar & leash to signify a fresh start and the beginning of a life-long commitment. 

For some dogs, this is the only new and clean object they have ever been given.

The ceremony of placing the purple collar on our dogs is a special moment.  The location may not be special – the back of a car, the filth of a shelter kennel or even at a vet clinic as the dog takes its last breath – but the moment is one of great importance.

This is the moment the “connection” is made between AZGRC and the dog we have just rescued – regardless of their condition or the outcome. 

As the collar is placed around their neck, the “Purple Halo” talk is given.  A kiss on the head and a whisper in their ear:  “This is your purple halo.  You will be protected for life.  Nothing bad will ever happen to you again and we promise to find the perfect home for you.”  This is the moment we look into their eyes and through their fear and confusion, we see the light that will soon shine with love and patience.

I’ll be honest, many a tear has been shed placing this collar on some of our dogs – but much laughter has occurred too.  A few dogs have received “addendums” to the talk.  Things like:  “don’t ever use your teeth for evil; cats are our friends; children do NOT taste like chicken; and, don’t eat the furniture”.  And then there is the occasional emphatic “don’t mess this up” instruction.

The Purple Halo is our symbol of the life-long covenant that AZGRC enters with each and every dog.

When you see that purple collar around a dog’s neck, just remember that there was that one moment when someone knelt down and whispered, “you are protected for life…..”

*AZGRC is always looking for volunteers to join our “Purple Halo” Team.  We currently are in most need of shelter walkers and foster families.  If you are interested, please send an email to: and put “Purple Halo” in the subject line.  



Arizona Golden Retriever Connection is an all volunteer, non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Arizona Golden Retriever Connection

P.O. Box 26678
Scottsdale, AZ  85255
Phone:  602-870-0037     Fax:  480-563-9154